Instead, his dropped interception on a ball that hit him squarely in the chest meant that, instead of pats on the back from friends and family, he got a hard time instead.
“I heard about it bad,” Cuff said. “Coaches from back home, parents, teammates, friends.”
Of course, no one was a harsher critic than he was. It was his first opportunity at a game-changing play since the sophomore arrived at Georgia, and he let it slip through his hands – literally.
“That was a pick six, and it would have been my first pick ever at Georgia,” Cuff said. “That’s a crusher right there. That hurt my pride, I let my team down, I’m crushed by that.”
While Cuff missed his first chance at a pick, he figured to get a few more as the season goes along.
Bryan Evans was beaten twice for touchdowns and Cuff saw nearly all the action as a third corner in the second half, and head coach Mark Richt said that role could increase going forward.
“Those young guys, Coach (Willie) Martinez has been really wanting to play Cuff more and play (freshman Brandon) Boykin more because they are high-energy guys who’ve got ability,” Richt said, “but games get so tight sometimes that you can’t play as many guys as you want.”
Richt said the change on the depth chart isn’t official just yet, but Cuff would be excited for any opportunity that comes his way. After all, he enjoyed his taste of success against Vanderbilt, but he still has to redeem himself for the one that got away.
“It just felt good giving back to Georgia,” Cuff said. “For me to just give back with the little talent I do have, that just felt good.”